Of Food

We've been watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution over the past few weeks, raising eyebrows at the habits of those across the sea, and raising eyebrows at our own not-the-best food habits too....

So every evening when I head out to do the grocery shopping, I trawl the fruit and veg section, looking for the best stuff I can find to feed my family with this show and a couple of others percolating in my head.

And I've come to one rather horrifying conclusion. We don't actually have a lot of variety in our shops. Yes, the fruit and veg aisles are filled up with stuff, but when you look at it (going through the mental image list) you have only:
  • Potatoes, Sweet potatoes
  • Gemsquash and butternuts
  • Onions, carrots
  • Tomatoes x 2 varieties
  • Lettuce, cucumber, mushrooms, peppers (the last two sometimes way too expensive, and the latter only eaten by myself)
  • Very pricey little items like baby corn and fine green beans, small chilis and herbs (fall under "luxury items")
  • Out-of-season fruits in expensive packaging (again "luxury items)
  • Bananas, apples, sometimes a bit of citrus or a handful of things like kiwi fruit, granadillas, pawpaws, avos and pineapples
  • Pre-packaged chopped veg of the above varieties
  • Green beans, cauliflower (usually), brocolli (usually), baby marrows (sometimes).
In short, I have to somehow combine this lot into food that has variety, that tastes good and that we can actually afford every day.  And the truth is it's not easy - especially when half the items on the list are no-goes for various folk in the household (I'd have a riot if I ever came home with brussels sprouts!).

What we have in our local supermarkets are close to mono-culture.  Everyone sells the same stuff, likely from the same big farms, and there isn't much difference in varietals - no "heirloom" or "farmers market" goods, just things that have gone from commercial farm somewhere out there to packaging and distribution plant to us.

Which is why the farmer's market at Lourensford Estate may just need a visit from me sometime soon, connections with other local food-growers made.... and the pots out the front need to start sprouting a lot more edible landscaping.  Who knows, perhaps I'll even get that vertical garden off the ground at last ('scuse the pun).

Check these out!
Home harvest from a backyard no-dig garden
Try no-dig gardening